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Umbrella Academy Theory: The Hargreeves Family Is In A Time Loop

Sir Reginald Hargreeves and Five in The Umbrella Academy

The dramatic ending of The Umbrella Academy season 2 could have created a time loop involving the entire Hargreeves family. Drawing inspiration from the best-selling comics of Gerard Way and Gabriel BáThe Umbrella Academy is a trippy and eccentric series that stars a dysfunctional "family" of superheroes as they attempt to avert the end of the world.

In The Umbrella Academy's ending, the students realized they were always destined to fail. In spite of their best efforts, Vanya's power flared and knocked a chunk out of the Moon. This fell to Earth, with the impact triggering an extinction-level event, by wiping out all life on the planet and creating a doomed future that Five had desperately been attempting to prevent. But there was still hope, as Five used his time travel powers to transport his family to another time period, one in which they intended to regroup and work out how to save the world.

Related: The Umbrella Academy Character & Powers Guide

It was a stunning cliffhanger ending, one that diverges notably from the original comics and thus, in theory, makes The Umbrella Academy season 2 impossible to predict. But this isn't your average TV series; it's a smart, carefully joined-up show that signposted major twists all the way back in episode 1. That means it's entirely possible some of the narrative in season 1 offers hints - and one detail in particular stands out.

Sir Reginald Hargreeves Knows Far Too Much

The Umbrella Academy - Reginald Hargreeves

The story of The Umbrella Academy begins decades in the past, with the spontaneous birth of 43 babies - children of women who had previously shown no hint of being pregnant. Sir Reginald Hargreeves, founder of the Umbrella Academy, believed these children were unique and had the power to become heroes. He traveled the globe seeking the infants out, attempting to persuade their mothers to put them up for adoption. He managed to acquire seven of them (the fate of the other 36 is unknown, although in the comics several died due to the circumstances surrounding their births, while others became super-villains).

This origin story raises a lot of questions. The first is just how Hargreeves knew these births had even happened in the first place; after all, these were only 43 births, and they were scattered across the globe. In an age before social media, it's unlikely any journalists would have heard of this mysterious event, and so it would have been unremarked on by the world's media. And yet, Sir Reginald knew they had happened, and he must have used considerable resources to comb the planet for the babies. Given these circumstances, it's actually quite impressive that Hargreeves managed to get his hands on seven of them.

Related: The Umbrella Academy: Biggest Questions After Season 1's Finale

But why did he exert such effort anyway? It's unclear how Sir Reginald Hargreeves even knew that these babies would be special, and that they would have superhuman powers. Interestingly, flashbacks in The Umbrella Academy season 1 seem to suggest that Hargreeves understood what these abilities would be. He knew that Five had the potential to travel in time as well as space, for example; even more curiously, he understood the perils of time travel enough to caution Five on them. He was able to accurately warn Five that traveling through time could affect both his body and his mind. Again, how did Sir Reginald Hargreeves know all this?

Into the present, Sir Reginald evidently knew that he had to get his students back together, and he was even willing to commit suicide in order to set the whole chain of events into motion. As Five noted, it's as though Sir Reginald was aware that the apocalypse was due. Meanwhile, in one scene, Mom - an android built and programmed by Hargreeves - stitched embroidery showing a chunk of the Moon being blasted off. This may have just been an amusing Easter egg, but it could also be further evidence that Hargreeves knew what was coming.

Page 2 of 2: Time Travel Would Explain Hargreeves' Knowledge, But Can The Loop Be Broken?

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